Higher Secondary students in the district had a tough start to their exams on Monday with the English paper giving a set of questions different from the usual pattern.

The district had 181 centres and 34,569 second year students appeared for the exam. The exam was held between 10 a.m. and 12.45 p.m. with 15 minutes at the start of the exam set apart as ‘cool off’ period for the students to calm their nerves and go through the question paper.

Godwin Joseph, an English faculty with St. Albert’s Higher Secondary School, said that the question paper was definitely different from the usual model.

Some routine questions were replaced with relatively new models. Below average students may have found it even difficult to understand those questions. For instance, there was a content-based question, which is not common. Students were asked to recollect the important points of a lesson based on the life of former President AP.J. Abdul Kalam.

There was also opportunity to score easy marks. Usually, the question on how to advise a person asks students to write two sentences carrying two marks. Sometimes, it carried up to four marks. But this time six marks were given for writing three sentences. For a language paper, that is unprecedented, Mr. Joseph said.

While students falling in the A+ bracket may still pull it off, it might have been tough for the mediocre students. The number of additional answer sheets taken by students was also a pointer towards the nature of the exam. Compared to English exams in previous years, the number of additional sheets taken by students was less this time around, he said.

Gini Jimmy, a student of St. Mary’s C.G.H.S.S found the questions in Monday’s exam a bit different from the ones she was accustomed to. The exam as a whole, however, didn’t trouble her much.

No irregularities

Two invigilator squads were deployed to detect irregularities. Sevenniza Beevi O.M, Regional Deputy Director, Higher Education Department, Ernakulam, said that no irregularities were reported in the district on the first day of exams.

Vocational Higher Secondary students also had English exam on Monday. The students appeared in 34 exam centres in the district. Higher secondary students will have Malayalam exam on Tuesday. Plus one exams will begin on Wednesday.

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